66th Annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show to Feature Field of 1,200

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Equestrian event in Katy raises millions for children’s charities.

Houston’s hometown annual horse show, the 66th Annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, kicks off this week, attracting horse enthusiasts from around the world. The Pin Oak Charity Horse show is one of the longest-running and most prominent equestrian events in the country. This year’s event, titled “Step Up & Step Out for Children,” is presented by BBVA Compass and will benefit Texas Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House of Houston. The show will span two weeks, March 23 through April 3, at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas.

This year Pin Oak will fulfill its recent pledge to donate $300,000 over five years for the construction of Texas Children’s West Campus. Part of this year’s contributions will fund the oncology and hematology treatments in the new hospital.

The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show has called Houston home for 66 years since it first debuted at the Pin Oak Stables in 1945. Since then, it has gained the reputation of being one of the premier horse shows in the country, attracting crowds by the tens of thousands, and providing millions in donations to fulfill its mission of helping children.

Pin Oak is one of few shows in existence that features both hunters and jumpers. Other breeds that compete include American Saddlebred, Welsh Ponies, Andalusian and Lusitanos, United Mountain, and for the first time in 2011, Irish Draught horses.

This year’s show is expected to draw approximately 1,200 competitors and over 1,500 horses to showcase some of the best international talent. Hunter and jumper events will take place during both weeks of the show’s two-week run with two Grand Prix events presented on each Saturday. Aside from a stunning lineup of events, show attendees will also enjoy an assortment of classes and exhibitions for a variety of different breeds during the first week of the show.

New to the show this year is Pin Oak’s first-ever International Hospitality Sponsor, Haras Dos Cavaleiros. An experienced breeder of the beautiful and legendary Portuguese Lusitano horses, Haras Dos Cavaleiros also specializes in dressage and training in Mexico and Texas. Referred to as the “Sons of the Wind,” Lusitanos are kin to the Spanish Andalusian breed. This ancient warhorse was once worshiped by the Greeks and Romans, and has been ridden for over 5,000 years, making it the oldest saddle horse.

Present-day Lusitanos are now revered for their championship talent in working equitation competitions. These competitions were developed to display the different equitation practices used on farms. Working equitation competitions are comprised of three tests, dressage, ease of handling, and speed obstacles. The first test requires competitors to perform certain movements, much like a traditional dressage competition. The next test is designed to simulate the country terrain. Riders must maneuver around a series of obstacles displaying confidence and ease. The last test measures the amount of time to complete an obstacle course. Haras Dos Cavaleiros has excelled in training and exhibiting World Champion Lusitanos within this new discipline, sparking much nationwide interest.

Haras Dos Cavaleiros will host the Lusitano Lounge at Pin Oak to promote purebred Lusitanos. The Lusitano Lounge will feature videos, presentations, and live demonstrations with a World Champion Lusitano, highlighting the physical characteristics, form, and functionality of the this exotic breed. Show-goers will also receive information about riding, equitation, and dressage. In addition to exhibiting, Haras Dos Cavaleiros will also be competing in events throughout the show.

Owners, Rafael Chavez and Carmina Zamorano have been preparing for this event. “As the International Hospitality Sponsor we have the unique honor to represent three countries. We are representing the Portuguese culture, with a Mexican tradition, in the United States. To be able to fuse these multiple cultures allows us to promote this magnificent breed worldwide. We look forward to meeting with show attendees to exhibit the Lusitano breed and we are elated to be partnered with Pin Oak and such a remarkable cause. As a local breeder, we take great pride in giving back to our community.”

About Pin Oak Charity Horse Show: The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show is one of only four Heritage shows in the nation featuring both hunters and jumpers. Throughout its sixty-six years, Pin Oak maintained an unwavering commitment to serve the community by donating proceeds to children’s charities. Their long-standing relationship with Texas Children’s Hospital began in 1948. Pin Oak’s contributions helped construct the original hospital in 1954. Recently Pin Oak also set its sights on funding the Family Rooms at the Ronald McDonald House of Houston. Pin Oak has contributed over $5.5 million dollars since 1945.

About Haras Dos Cavaleiros: Founded in 2000, Haras Dos Cavaleiros is on a mission to globally promote the legendary Lusitano horse breed. Already an experienced breeder, Haras Dos Cavaleiros raises and trains the world’s finest Portuguese Lusitanos in Mexico and Texas. Trainers from around the world work especially with the Lusitanos at the Magnolia, Texas ranch to provide a variety of training disciplines. Haras Dos Cavaleiros takes pride in preserving the original culture of the Lusitano breed to provide riders with beautiful horses with exceptional equestrian capabilities.

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Marcela Conatser

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